Probiotic Bacteria Like Red Wine – And Then They Help Your Heart!
Remember when heart scientists used to say red wine was good for your heart. Then all the government funded health agencies worried that we’d all drink too much wine so they poured cold water on the heart/wine connection. Well, recent research by Dr Man-tian Mi, at the Third Military Medical University in China, has provided some new information that connects the dots between the healthy heart stuff in wine (resveratrol) and how it works.
Dr. Mi’s group fed mice a diet containing resveratrol, and discovered that resveratrol alters their gut microbiota (gut bacterial community). According to Dr. Mi resveratrol increased the ratio of a good bacteria called, Bacteroidetes compared to a not so good a bacteria called Firmicutes. Changes in this ratio are associated with obesity. Dr. Mi also found that resveratrol lowered the production of a compound called TMAO. We recently wrote a blog about TMAO, which is associated with diets high in red meat and heart disease. The researchers further confirmed their finding by observing that Resveratrol also reduced disease development in a mouse model prone to TMAO-induced development of atherosclerosis.
These results clearly provide insight into how and why resveratrol works and how it is able to elicit and physiological change. The research also sheds more light on why our gut microbiata is such a valuable component of our physiology, and why having a healthy gut microbiome is so important for our body wide health. A better understanding of how red wine effects your gut bacteria, and their effect on heart disease and obesity is still no excuse to drink a whole bottle with your dinner. However, let’s hope more scientists learn about Dr. Mi’s results and work to shed more light on how our gut bacteria neighbors use the delicious things we eat and drink.